Moscow - August 28, 2015
I see that Spot got out tonight... not quite in the right place, but pretty close. To avoid fighting the traffic and to facilitate leaving Sunday morning, I decided to stay outside of the city center, out in some sort of green parkland, but near a metro stop. This way I can get into town easily enough, but still be out here where there is some breathing room. This place fits the bill... and has a pizza restaurant (with beer) in the lobby to boot.
Wow, driving into Moscow on a Friday night.... what was this guy thinking? Well, I'm thinking that I'm sure as hell glad I was coming in and not trying to get out! I guess when people leave town for the weekend, they just assume that they will spend Friday night in their cars. I've rarely seen traffic lineups like that. Totally stopped, mile after mile. For no reason other than congestion. Coming into town was a breeze in comparison. And I think going out Sunday morning should be fine as well. Lucky timing.
So this one is going to be short. 1) Because nothing really interesting has happened... just grinding away the miles, and 2) because I have a lot of arrangements yet to try to make. I have to sit down with a calendar, look at ferry schedules and let the guy in London know exactly what day I want to fly the bike out. I only gave him a rough estimate and perhaps that's why I have heard so little from him. From a quick look at the ferries, it looks like I can take an overnight ferry from Tallin to Stockholm, then take another overnight ferry from the southern tip of Sweden to Germany. Then a day's drive to Hook-of-Holland for an overnighter to Harwich northeast of London, and then the drive to London. Surprisingly, is is almost all on routes and roads I haven't not been on yet. Never been to Stockholm or HoH or on any of those ferries. Anyway, I'll have to work the dates forward from Saint Petersburg, leaving plenty of time to visit with Mari and Ants in Estonia. I'll probably just go directly to Turi where they live, from Saint Petersburg... another long day given that it includes the border crossing as well. At least I have all my paperwork, including my European Greencard insurance already arranged and in hand. The only extra thing I'll have to do at the border is do some currency exchange to Euros. I don't want to get too far away with Rubles, or I may have some pricey souvenirs.
I have to admit, I am tired. Haven't been sleeping past 3:30 for the past several nights despite going to bed at a normal 9-10 bedtime. I've even been sleeping with the earplugs in, although the constant barking dogs disappeared from the cities by Omsk. UU was a joke that way. It sounded like a wave of dogs passing through town. Then quiet for a while. The another wave. Probably all rabid too.
So the odometer clicked over today. 100,000 miles. All back to 0s's. That was just weird looking. So I pulled over and took a picture. Set the trip meter back to 0's too so that everything was 0's. Guess it made sense 40 years ago to not to have an extra digit...how many bikes actually went to 100,000 miles anyway. But you know, it is amazing that I can roll a 40 year-old machine out of the garage, start it up and ride around the world on it. That just shouldn't be. And with really no significant problems. What I'm asking this thing to do is just criminal. I should be locked up. And it's even more amazing when you consider that it was designed without the aid of computers and the engine machined without the aid of computers. Just all empirically developed. Staggering.
Anyway, tomorrow will be my Moscow day. I'm sure that will have wished to stay a little longer in one of the World's Great Cities, but it will have to do. I'll just have to settle for being grateful to have seen it at all.